Your neighbors are using two different composting systems: cold composting and hot composting. Both yield compost, but hot composting produces it faster than the cold method. To cold compost, simply toss ingredients in a pile or other enclosure, and then wait a year or two for them to break down. Turning the pile, which means moving the materials from one spot to another to mix them up, is optional, although tackling this task once or twice a year will speed up the decomposition process. Hot composting takes more time and energy to prepare but produces finished compost in about 3 months. It also lets you produce more compost per year in the same amount of space. Hot composting gets its name because all the microorganisms busily breaking down materials generate heat within the pile. Reprinted from The Veggie Gardener's Answer Book Copyright 2008 by Barbara W. Ellis, with permission from Storey Publishing. Photo credit: Seabamirum
I've got two neighbors. One just piles up his clippings, and the other one is always digging through them and moving them around. Which is the better way to make compost?
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